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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Auction Disc. : auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

 

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George
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15 Jan 2012
01:30:12pm
I listed a few items for auction but no one bid on them. That could be because no one here is interested in the items, or it could be because when you are new it takes time to be noticed.

I would like to know whether it's worth relisting items a couple of times before giving up and trying to sell elsewhere. I would prefer trying to sell here first, since it's a pleasant community and there's no commission etc.
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

15 Jan 2012
02:23:02pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

George, to facilitate an answer to your question, why don't you relist the lots you had previously listed and let us know when you do. Give us at least a couple of days, and, as auctioneer, I invite all viewers to comment on your lots, including how you've listed them, your pricing, your images, etc. I ask that all commentators be your normal, gentle, constructive selves.

so, George, relist and see what we say.

David the auctioneer

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dani20
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15 Jan 2012
02:47:43pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Dear George,
A good question, and David has of course given you the right direction to follow. For my part, I wonder if what I have to say is a distraction from the specific question, but begging your indulgence here goes: Don't you (one) have to determine the motive for the listings in the first place? If it's solely to sell items, that's pretty cut and dried. If it's to become part of the SOR community, then profit per se becomes only part of the actuality. Many here post items for extraordinarily good prices to a perspective buyer, often at a reduction to the SOR community compared to what they would offer to a different auction format. Sometimes items are listed at pennies just for the purpose of helping out the newbies starting/restarting their hobby. I personally avidly watch for my particular areas of interest to make it to the auction-most often it doesn't happen, but so what!

When I post from time to time, most often my items don't sell-but that's O.K. too.Generally I try to relist 2 or 3 times, and find that eventually most relisted do get picked up. Of course by that time I am at my cost level or below, but so what? The fun is in the camaraderie, and that is priceless.

For rarities, if they don't do well in SOR I list them elsewhere, and then the point is to maximize the profit. Sometimes bundling a few items rather than selling them individually may get you more action. Just a thought, and way too long winded at that.
All the best,
Dan C.

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sponthetrona2
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Keep Postal systems alive, buy stamps and mail often

15 Jan 2012
04:58:21pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Like the old guy directly above me it's the hunt not the kill that is fun in stamp collecting. I have learned a bunch on this site and I post now and then, with few results, however I look for oddities that fit within my way of collecting ( such as a cover, a unique cancel). I know most of the sellers and what's their thing however I will bid on newbie items unless I hear negative feedback from Stamporama members. I have only had problems with the mail services of the Middle Eastern countries so I'm wary of those places. Perry

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Logistical1
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15 Jan 2012
07:19:39pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

George,
Don't give up, I also got off to a rough start selling on the Stamporama auction. I don't think I sold a single stamp the first three times I listed items for sale. The above advice is good. This is a club more than an auction. If you are looking to get catalog value for your stamps you may have to list them several times before the right buyer sees them.

I didn't get a chance to look at your listings, but if I am looking at any perspective stamp purchase the more information I have the better. Scott#,condition,clear image, unique cancel etc. When selling if I want to the bidder to know the starting price is well below current value (CV), I provide the CV. I have also bundled a few items or sold stamps in sets with good results.

Mike

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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

15 Jan 2012
11:05:11pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

For anyone starting out to sell on a website for the first time, I'd suggest looking at the items that are being offered for sale and study them. You will find what it is that people are interesting in and are buying. Then you can go through your material and find the areas that the prospective buyers are showing interest.

Remember that the number of potential buyers here is very small considering other web sites. Selling is secondary here, although it is a nice benefit. It is a buyer's market here as most items receive zero, one or possibly two bids at most. If the starting price is too high, and the stamp being offered is common, the odds are that it will not sell here, or that it will sell here, but only after a long time of being offered. There are other internet stamp selling sites that are better suited to selling common material, however, it is necessary to study those sites as well.

Learn how things are selling on a site. How are the sellers setting their prices? How many bids generally are placed on an item. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes. Are the items you are offering for sale attractive to the buyers both in appearance and price? If the selling environment fits into your selling strategy, then take a shot at it and see how it goes. However, do not expect to sell everyone of your items either when you start or even later on after you have become established on the site. Learn when sales on the site peak and when they are slow, and work your strategies accordingly. Review your selling strategies a few times each year to see if your goals are being met. If not, then adjust your strategies. If your goals are being met, then see if there are ways to expand your strategies by setting higher goals.

Selling is work. If you do not take it as such, then you will not do good. To be successful, it is necessary to do the homework. Unfortunately, most sellers of stamps will tell you that there is alot of hours spent selling only a few items. You'll find, when you factor in your expenses, that unless you're a full-time dealer, you'll most likely be working on stamp sales for less than $1.00 an hour.

Through the years, I have seen many people try to sell, but not have any business model to work from. They fail, and they blame the site and the people on the site. "I didn't sell my three items immediately when I posted them. Buyers here are stupid and so is the site. How long should I try to sell here before I move on to another site where I can sell everything and become rich? Three more days?" Such talk indicates an amateurish attitude, and not a business attitude towards sales. One cannot establish business relationships with customers by closing the store and moving to another location every week. It takes time to build up the trust and get clientele to become regulars. It doesn't matter what kind of business it is. Without a good business model, one will not be successful in sales, no matter where they go to try to do business that they are not prepared to conduct.

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George
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16 Jan 2012
05:38:18am
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Thanks for the replies folks.

I've been selling individual stamps on delcampe for a few years now, so I'm not entirely ignorant of how it works. I think that site works well for buying/selling individual low priced items. Of course I'm always open to more tips which is why I've asked for advice.

However, I do have a selection of more unusual items that I want to offload, and I thought I'd try here first, at least in part because, as some of you have said, it's like being part of a community.

In any case, I did relist them, and three of the four items I have placed on sale have bids on them now, so I'm quite happy about that. In any case, here are the sales, so if anyone can give constructive feedback on how I can be more effective, I'd love to hear it.

http://www.stamporama.com/auction/auction_main.php?action=13&user=Raichu

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dani20
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16 Jan 2012
08:20:41am
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Dear George,
On your description of the USA item-don't be so sparing in the description-more is better. For example, mentioning 2 plate #'s on the strip would be of interest to some, along with the gum condition (mint, but hinged or MNH?)
Good picture of the front-there are those who like to see a back scan as well. Tim has provided the capacity to include that as well as you set up for posting.
Nice to see you listing.
All the best,
Dan

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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

16 Jan 2012
10:49:23am
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

George, another thing to do is exactly what you are doing. Participate in the discussion boards. People get to know you that way, and when you mention that you added items for sale, there is advertising, giving you more exposure. All of it helps.

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Mike

16 Jan 2012
11:11:37am
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

George,

I'm glad you decided to relist those items and not give up so easily. As my dear old mom used to tell me, "Patience is a virtue, posses it if you can. It's always in a woman, but never in a man". This discourse about what should be in a stamp listing was live not too long ago and a couple of the other items that were mentioned were: "Please mention a catalog number and a catalog value". I feel that if you have already gone to the trouble to look that item number and value up, then why not share it with the auction crowd. Plus you might mention what catalog and year you used to find that information. I personally buy stamps using a want list and there is no way that I can possibly remember all of the numbers of the stamps I need to fill those empty spots in the album, so seeing the catalog numbers makes it much easier for me to buy stamps and more sales for the sellers
.
Best of luck with your auctions.

Mike

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

16 Jan 2012
12:37:27pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

George, glad you reposted and showed us the list.

so, here are my comments:

images are large, clear, crisp. Nice job. Lots are adequately described, but more description never hurts (and good on you for noting that one of the strips was CTO), inlcuding its catalogue number, year, CV, etc (although, I often don't do that extra work, thinking I only want to get rid of the stamp, not catalogue someone else's new stamp); the reality is that the more information you give, the more likely someone has an "aha!" moment. Shipping terms are clear. I like that all your lots are booklet panes are complete se=--tenant strips.

I might try to have more lots going at once. Some of us would hesitate to purchase a lot in which we pay $3.10 to get it here (not contesting its cost, only the expense to me); however, the more lots, the more likely i might find several I like and, prorated, that $3.10 doesn't look so forbidding any more. Of course, I'm a notorious bottom feeder, and others don't necessarily have such a Highland grip on their purse strings.

David, the hopefully helpful auctioneer and hopeless tightwad

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George
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17 Jan 2012
05:49:22am
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Yes I try to be accurate in descriptions, and when I list individual items I usually put in catalogue numbers. I try to use descriptions that will help people find the item when they do a text search. (BTW SOR auction text search doesn't work too well. I don't know if it's worth improving though since there aren't thousands of items...)

I don't bother with catalogue values any more since typical selling price doesn't always correlate. I've seen SG list some dirt common Australian stamps at values like 60p! (Mind you I think I once sold something at over C.V.) Also I'm sure prices vary from one catalogue to another.

Dan, sorry I don't know what plate numbers are... there's some colour registration marks at the top and bottom, is that what you mean? Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.

Yes I agree about the postage. I wanted to start with a few items until I got the hang of it. I can't believe though how some people have bought items off me on other sites where the postage is like 10 times what they paid for the item, but it just shows how some people are more conscious about the cost than others. I guess someone like me still has a family to support and it's getting more costly as the kids get older, so I'm very conscious of spending carefully.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I'll remember to put in a bit more detail and I'll try and list more lots at a time.

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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

17 Jan 2012
09:02:31am
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

I see it quite often where someone purchases a stamp for 10 cents and pays $1.50 for shipping. I have to admit that I have done so as well when I needed that one, stupid cheapo stamp to complete a set. New buyers will purchase a low priced stamp just to test out the seller that they don't know to see how quickly the purchase is shipped and hwo well it is packed.

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"Author: Seasons of Fantasies and Dreams, The Whitechapel Fog"

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Les
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02 Mar 2012
06:16:15pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

I don't know whether is appropro to this thread, but this is what I do. I will buy a big collection on eBay or at a stamp show, usually the collection has stamps that I think I want for my collection. When I get the lot, I will break it down and look at each stamp and estimate its grade, condition and Scott catalogue value. Frankly, I have a tremendous amount of fun doing that and I really learned a lot about philately. In today's world it is the equivalent of hunting through Grandma's old love letters and when I was a kid I went through a lot of old mail, but that is another story.

I have produced a lot of duplicates and now have 7 x 1000 card file boxes filled with stamps mounted in G&K Collection Cards. I find them more efficient and easier to use than stock books. I try to be really careful in describing the condition and offering the stamps on here. I have a specific format for the title based on reading the discussion board postings. I include a code for the country, the scott catalogue number, the postage value, the color, the title or name of the person depicted, its grade and condition.

In the description I try to include all the faults that I see on the stamp. I have found that reading published auction catalogues is useful in writing the description. I price the stamp based on my feeling about its desirability. I kind of hope to make enough to keep expanding my collection, but I am not in it to make a living, but I did find a used 294a in the last collection I bought on eBay (that is another story).

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DRYER
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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.

04 Mar 2012
03:05:29pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Postage Stamp Vendors:

As a stamp-auction bidder and stamp buyer (not a seller) stamp identification* is everything for me. After that, comes the integrity of the vendor. Although far too old to do so, I take childish pleasure from those "feel good" complimentary stamps (of no cash value) or other "freebies" (e.g. free S&H) that some vendors always include with my purchases.

John Derry

*For example: I see a thirty-fold value difference between Lithuania SCN217 & 239, yet am unable to distinguish between them. Here is where I rely upon a reputable vendor to bail me out.

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ScanStamps
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05 Mar 2012
07:55:06pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Les wrote:

"I kind of hope to make enough to keep expanding my collection, but I am not in it to make a living, but I did find a used 294a in the last collection I bought on eBay (that is another story). "


????

Seriously? That's a story I'd like to hear more about...

"Finds" are definitely still out there. I've not found any extremely rare stamps, but I have found two "previously unrecorded" postmarks in eBay lots-- one from Hong Kong, one from Sweden.

Peter

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Les
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06 Mar 2012
12:41:30pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Peter,

Yes it was a 294 with an upside down ship on the back sheet of the stock book advertised as having thousands of stamps. This particular stamp was stuffed behind several others.

Image Not Found

What do you think? Should I keep it or sell it?

Les

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Patches

Liz

06 Mar 2012
01:03:17pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Are you sure that isn't the 1c stamp from the Pan American Exposition Invert Stamps Centennial Sheet #3505a - Issued March 29, 2001?

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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

06 Mar 2012
01:14:40pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Looks like the center was cut out and placed back upside down on the stamp to make it look like the invert. A common trick to defraud collectors. The inner oval has jagged lines (the bottom part of the oval covers up the name plate) and there are tiny paper nicks and bunching all along the oval when it should be nice and smooth. The green portion of the stamp was from one die, so it should not appear so. The cancel was probably added later to cover up the worst part of the fake job.

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"Author: Seasons of Fantasies and Dreams, The Whitechapel Fog"

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Patches

Liz

06 Mar 2012
01:52:22pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Your eyes are much better than mine Michael. Looking closely at the stamp it does look like it has been altered.

Liz

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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

06 Mar 2012
03:37:42pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Liz, I don't know that about my eyes, but I just got a new, 50% larger monitor. I can see again!

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michael78651
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Moderator, MT Member

06 Mar 2012
03:49:25pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Again, the best advice is not to presume you have found a rare stamp in a box lot until it has been authenticated. A stamp like 294a, the census of which is pretty much known, will not be found stuck behind a bunch of other stamps at the back of a stock book.

Before someone jumps on me for saying "never". All right. I'll concede. You won't find it in 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of these types of lots.

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Bobstamp
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06 Mar 2012
04:39:21pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Ah, but there is that 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% chance! Vive la chance! Who among us hasn't had our heart skip a beat when we think we've found a treasure? Each time, it's a sort of philatelic defibrillator. That's why most of us are still alive!

Bob

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Les
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06 Mar 2012
05:49:01pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Liz- It isn't part of the centennial sheet. If you will look closely at the sheet, you will see that each stamp on 3505 has a copyright date 2001 in the lower corner.

Michael is partially correct. There were two stamps mutilated. The center was cut out from one stamp turned upside down and glued onto another 294. My nephew who is not a stamp collector thought that it was too thick.

My clue that it was a forgery was that the cancellation lines are not parallel. I suspected that it was a fake because I had talked with another collector in town who had found a similar forgery. I have donated it to the APS fakes and forgeries reference collection. It was fun


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musicman
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APS #213005

06 Mar 2012
08:32:13pm
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

The cancellation lines definitely give it away.....

....fun story, Les!





Randy

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PDougherty999
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15 Mar 2012
11:19:59am
re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

I'm going to throw in some advice from one newbie to the other newbies out there. My last two batches have been very successful in my books on recuperating money I've spent on the collection. Mind you, I have not made much, but that was not my intension. I was aiming on breaking even with my “extra” stuff. In fact, a common theme in the discussion forums is that if you are looking at striking it rich in this hobby, then you are in for a very big surprise. Also, I’m going to point out that I’ve only been dealing with United States stuff for now.

Based on my buying experiences and then trying similar things in selling, I would recommend the following:

First and foremost, and I can’t emphasize this enough. Be descriptive in the description. ALWAYS include the country, the Scott number and a quick little 3 to 4 word description, if you can. Also, make sure you categorize the lot properly. If you don’t check off that your stamps are from the United States, then I for one will never see them as I mostly do my browsing under the U.S. category. And make sure you list the condition as well. And have a good clear scans. There are other posts about the best resolutions and what not so I won’t get into that here. If you do have a question, feel free to message me about what I do for mine.

Second, set your auction to 14 days and then wait, wait and wait. AND BE PATIENT!!! Typically, you will see the action pick up near the last 2 to 3 days. The reason for setting such a long date is you are "fishing" for bites. The longer you leave the bait in the water, the better chance of getting a bite. In fact, after you post, don't come back and look at your lots for at least 7 days. Take it from me, you will go crazy wondering what is going on.

Next, look at what the larger sellers are doing for prices. I’m finding that for the common unused stamp, set your start price at face value. If that face value is under 10 cents, then you can probably get away with setting the starting bid at 10 cents. For example, I had a block of 4 US # 803 that I set at 40 cents. I’ve also been lucky in that I’ve been sitting on some Forever stamps from last year, so now that face value is at $0.45 instead, so every time I sell one at that price, I’ve made a penny. If these unused stamps generate any interest, you’ll see people start bidding on them. If you don’t get any bites, those stamps are still valuable to you as postage. As for used stamps, I’ve seen the common ones being listed at $0.03 to $0.05 per stamp. I’ve been using the 5 cent rule to some success. If you think you have something that might be of more value than these guidelines, you can always ask the larger sellers what they think they would list it as. I know that our larger sellers do not look at this site as being a competitive selling location, and I know of at least 3 people I buy from that would not hesitate to give me an answer if I asked for their opinion.

Fourth, it seems that people love to bid on sets of stamps. Go through your extras and group the stamps together. Newbies like me are always looking to fill in sections of their album so sets of stamps are always appreciated and tend to start bidding wars.

And, the collectors here also seem to be looking for blocks of stamps too, so DON’T break up your blocks. I was surprised that I got bids on a normal block of Scott 803 and 804. But one man’s extras is another man’s treasure.

And lastly, if a lot doesn’t sell, reexamine it, to make sure there is nothing weird about it. If it still checks out OK, relist it at least 2 more times. Collectors and bidders around here do sometimes go on vacation, or maybe miss your lots the first time around. Like fishing, it sometimes takes 2 or 3 cats to get that bite you were looking for.

Hopefully, that helps some of the new people out.

---Pat

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George

15 Jan 2012
01:30:12pm

I listed a few items for auction but no one bid on them. That could be because no one here is interested in the items, or it could be because when you are new it takes time to be noticed.

I would like to know whether it's worth relisting items a couple of times before giving up and trying to sell elsewhere. I would prefer trying to sell here first, since it's a pleasant community and there's no commission etc.

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
15 Jan 2012
02:23:02pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

George, to facilitate an answer to your question, why don't you relist the lots you had previously listed and let us know when you do. Give us at least a couple of days, and, as auctioneer, I invite all viewers to comment on your lots, including how you've listed them, your pricing, your images, etc. I ask that all commentators be your normal, gentle, constructive selves.

so, George, relist and see what we say.

David the auctioneer

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dani20

15 Jan 2012
02:47:43pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Dear George,
A good question, and David has of course given you the right direction to follow. For my part, I wonder if what I have to say is a distraction from the specific question, but begging your indulgence here goes: Don't you (one) have to determine the motive for the listings in the first place? If it's solely to sell items, that's pretty cut and dried. If it's to become part of the SOR community, then profit per se becomes only part of the actuality. Many here post items for extraordinarily good prices to a perspective buyer, often at a reduction to the SOR community compared to what they would offer to a different auction format. Sometimes items are listed at pennies just for the purpose of helping out the newbies starting/restarting their hobby. I personally avidly watch for my particular areas of interest to make it to the auction-most often it doesn't happen, but so what!

When I post from time to time, most often my items don't sell-but that's O.K. too.Generally I try to relist 2 or 3 times, and find that eventually most relisted do get picked up. Of course by that time I am at my cost level or below, but so what? The fun is in the camaraderie, and that is priceless.

For rarities, if they don't do well in SOR I list them elsewhere, and then the point is to maximize the profit. Sometimes bundling a few items rather than selling them individually may get you more action. Just a thought, and way too long winded at that.
All the best,
Dan C.

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sponthetrona2

Keep Postal systems alive, buy stamps and mail often
15 Jan 2012
04:58:21pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Like the old guy directly above me it's the hunt not the kill that is fun in stamp collecting. I have learned a bunch on this site and I post now and then, with few results, however I look for oddities that fit within my way of collecting ( such as a cover, a unique cancel). I know most of the sellers and what's their thing however I will bid on newbie items unless I hear negative feedback from Stamporama members. I have only had problems with the mail services of the Middle Eastern countries so I'm wary of those places. Perry

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Logistical1

15 Jan 2012
07:19:39pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

George,
Don't give up, I also got off to a rough start selling on the Stamporama auction. I don't think I sold a single stamp the first three times I listed items for sale. The above advice is good. This is a club more than an auction. If you are looking to get catalog value for your stamps you may have to list them several times before the right buyer sees them.

I didn't get a chance to look at your listings, but if I am looking at any perspective stamp purchase the more information I have the better. Scott#,condition,clear image, unique cancel etc. When selling if I want to the bidder to know the starting price is well below current value (CV), I provide the CV. I have also bundled a few items or sold stamps in sets with good results.

Mike

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
15 Jan 2012
11:05:11pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

For anyone starting out to sell on a website for the first time, I'd suggest looking at the items that are being offered for sale and study them. You will find what it is that people are interesting in and are buying. Then you can go through your material and find the areas that the prospective buyers are showing interest.

Remember that the number of potential buyers here is very small considering other web sites. Selling is secondary here, although it is a nice benefit. It is a buyer's market here as most items receive zero, one or possibly two bids at most. If the starting price is too high, and the stamp being offered is common, the odds are that it will not sell here, or that it will sell here, but only after a long time of being offered. There are other internet stamp selling sites that are better suited to selling common material, however, it is necessary to study those sites as well.

Learn how things are selling on a site. How are the sellers setting their prices? How many bids generally are placed on an item. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes. Are the items you are offering for sale attractive to the buyers both in appearance and price? If the selling environment fits into your selling strategy, then take a shot at it and see how it goes. However, do not expect to sell everyone of your items either when you start or even later on after you have become established on the site. Learn when sales on the site peak and when they are slow, and work your strategies accordingly. Review your selling strategies a few times each year to see if your goals are being met. If not, then adjust your strategies. If your goals are being met, then see if there are ways to expand your strategies by setting higher goals.

Selling is work. If you do not take it as such, then you will not do good. To be successful, it is necessary to do the homework. Unfortunately, most sellers of stamps will tell you that there is alot of hours spent selling only a few items. You'll find, when you factor in your expenses, that unless you're a full-time dealer, you'll most likely be working on stamp sales for less than $1.00 an hour.

Through the years, I have seen many people try to sell, but not have any business model to work from. They fail, and they blame the site and the people on the site. "I didn't sell my three items immediately when I posted them. Buyers here are stupid and so is the site. How long should I try to sell here before I move on to another site where I can sell everything and become rich? Three more days?" Such talk indicates an amateurish attitude, and not a business attitude towards sales. One cannot establish business relationships with customers by closing the store and moving to another location every week. It takes time to build up the trust and get clientele to become regulars. It doesn't matter what kind of business it is. Without a good business model, one will not be successful in sales, no matter where they go to try to do business that they are not prepared to conduct.

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George

16 Jan 2012
05:38:18am

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Thanks for the replies folks.

I've been selling individual stamps on delcampe for a few years now, so I'm not entirely ignorant of how it works. I think that site works well for buying/selling individual low priced items. Of course I'm always open to more tips which is why I've asked for advice.

However, I do have a selection of more unusual items that I want to offload, and I thought I'd try here first, at least in part because, as some of you have said, it's like being part of a community.

In any case, I did relist them, and three of the four items I have placed on sale have bids on them now, so I'm quite happy about that. In any case, here are the sales, so if anyone can give constructive feedback on how I can be more effective, I'd love to hear it.

http://www.stamporama.com/auction/auction_main.php?action=13&user=Raichu

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dani20

16 Jan 2012
08:20:41am

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Dear George,
On your description of the USA item-don't be so sparing in the description-more is better. For example, mentioning 2 plate #'s on the strip would be of interest to some, along with the gum condition (mint, but hinged or MNH?)
Good picture of the front-there are those who like to see a back scan as well. Tim has provided the capacity to include that as well as you set up for posting.
Nice to see you listing.
All the best,
Dan

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michael78651

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16 Jan 2012
10:49:23am

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

George, another thing to do is exactly what you are doing. Participate in the discussion boards. People get to know you that way, and when you mention that you added items for sale, there is advertising, giving you more exposure. All of it helps.

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Mike
16 Jan 2012
11:11:37am

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

George,

I'm glad you decided to relist those items and not give up so easily. As my dear old mom used to tell me, "Patience is a virtue, posses it if you can. It's always in a woman, but never in a man". This discourse about what should be in a stamp listing was live not too long ago and a couple of the other items that were mentioned were: "Please mention a catalog number and a catalog value". I feel that if you have already gone to the trouble to look that item number and value up, then why not share it with the auction crowd. Plus you might mention what catalog and year you used to find that information. I personally buy stamps using a want list and there is no way that I can possibly remember all of the numbers of the stamps I need to fill those empty spots in the album, so seeing the catalog numbers makes it much easier for me to buy stamps and more sales for the sellers
.
Best of luck with your auctions.

Mike

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
16 Jan 2012
12:37:27pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

George, glad you reposted and showed us the list.

so, here are my comments:

images are large, clear, crisp. Nice job. Lots are adequately described, but more description never hurts (and good on you for noting that one of the strips was CTO), inlcuding its catalogue number, year, CV, etc (although, I often don't do that extra work, thinking I only want to get rid of the stamp, not catalogue someone else's new stamp); the reality is that the more information you give, the more likely someone has an "aha!" moment. Shipping terms are clear. I like that all your lots are booklet panes are complete se=--tenant strips.

I might try to have more lots going at once. Some of us would hesitate to purchase a lot in which we pay $3.10 to get it here (not contesting its cost, only the expense to me); however, the more lots, the more likely i might find several I like and, prorated, that $3.10 doesn't look so forbidding any more. Of course, I'm a notorious bottom feeder, and others don't necessarily have such a Highland grip on their purse strings.

David, the hopefully helpful auctioneer and hopeless tightwad

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George

17 Jan 2012
05:49:22am

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Yes I try to be accurate in descriptions, and when I list individual items I usually put in catalogue numbers. I try to use descriptions that will help people find the item when they do a text search. (BTW SOR auction text search doesn't work too well. I don't know if it's worth improving though since there aren't thousands of items...)

I don't bother with catalogue values any more since typical selling price doesn't always correlate. I've seen SG list some dirt common Australian stamps at values like 60p! (Mind you I think I once sold something at over C.V.) Also I'm sure prices vary from one catalogue to another.

Dan, sorry I don't know what plate numbers are... there's some colour registration marks at the top and bottom, is that what you mean? Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.

Yes I agree about the postage. I wanted to start with a few items until I got the hang of it. I can't believe though how some people have bought items off me on other sites where the postage is like 10 times what they paid for the item, but it just shows how some people are more conscious about the cost than others. I guess someone like me still has a family to support and it's getting more costly as the kids get older, so I'm very conscious of spending carefully.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I'll remember to put in a bit more detail and I'll try and list more lots at a time.

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
17 Jan 2012
09:02:31am

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

I see it quite often where someone purchases a stamp for 10 cents and pays $1.50 for shipping. I have to admit that I have done so as well when I needed that one, stupid cheapo stamp to complete a set. New buyers will purchase a low priced stamp just to test out the seller that they don't know to see how quickly the purchase is shipped and hwo well it is packed.

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Les

02 Mar 2012
06:16:15pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

I don't know whether is appropro to this thread, but this is what I do. I will buy a big collection on eBay or at a stamp show, usually the collection has stamps that I think I want for my collection. When I get the lot, I will break it down and look at each stamp and estimate its grade, condition and Scott catalogue value. Frankly, I have a tremendous amount of fun doing that and I really learned a lot about philately. In today's world it is the equivalent of hunting through Grandma's old love letters and when I was a kid I went through a lot of old mail, but that is another story.

I have produced a lot of duplicates and now have 7 x 1000 card file boxes filled with stamps mounted in G&K Collection Cards. I find them more efficient and easier to use than stock books. I try to be really careful in describing the condition and offering the stamps on here. I have a specific format for the title based on reading the discussion board postings. I include a code for the country, the scott catalogue number, the postage value, the color, the title or name of the person depicted, its grade and condition.

In the description I try to include all the faults that I see on the stamp. I have found that reading published auction catalogues is useful in writing the description. I price the stamp based on my feeling about its desirability. I kind of hope to make enough to keep expanding my collection, but I am not in it to make a living, but I did find a used 294a in the last collection I bought on eBay (that is another story).

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The past is a foreign country, they do things different there.
04 Mar 2012
03:05:29pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Postage Stamp Vendors:

As a stamp-auction bidder and stamp buyer (not a seller) stamp identification* is everything for me. After that, comes the integrity of the vendor. Although far too old to do so, I take childish pleasure from those "feel good" complimentary stamps (of no cash value) or other "freebies" (e.g. free S&H) that some vendors always include with my purchases.

John Derry

*For example: I see a thirty-fold value difference between Lithuania SCN217 & 239, yet am unable to distinguish between them. Here is where I rely upon a reputable vendor to bail me out.

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ScanStamps

05 Mar 2012
07:55:06pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Les wrote:

"I kind of hope to make enough to keep expanding my collection, but I am not in it to make a living, but I did find a used 294a in the last collection I bought on eBay (that is another story). "


????

Seriously? That's a story I'd like to hear more about...

"Finds" are definitely still out there. I've not found any extremely rare stamps, but I have found two "previously unrecorded" postmarks in eBay lots-- one from Hong Kong, one from Sweden.

Peter

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Les

06 Mar 2012
12:41:30pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Peter,

Yes it was a 294 with an upside down ship on the back sheet of the stock book advertised as having thousands of stamps. This particular stamp was stuffed behind several others.

Image Not Found

What do you think? Should I keep it or sell it?

Les

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Patches

Liz

06 Mar 2012
01:03:17pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Are you sure that isn't the 1c stamp from the Pan American Exposition Invert Stamps Centennial Sheet #3505a - Issued March 29, 2001?

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
06 Mar 2012
01:14:40pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Looks like the center was cut out and placed back upside down on the stamp to make it look like the invert. A common trick to defraud collectors. The inner oval has jagged lines (the bottom part of the oval covers up the name plate) and there are tiny paper nicks and bunching all along the oval when it should be nice and smooth. The green portion of the stamp was from one die, so it should not appear so. The cancel was probably added later to cover up the worst part of the fake job.

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Patches

Liz

06 Mar 2012
01:52:22pm

Auctions - Approvals

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Your eyes are much better than mine Michael. Looking closely at the stamp it does look like it has been altered.

Liz

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
06 Mar 2012
03:37:42pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Liz, I don't know that about my eyes, but I just got a new, 50% larger monitor. I can see again!

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michael78651

Moderator, MT Member
06 Mar 2012
03:49:25pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Again, the best advice is not to presume you have found a rare stamp in a box lot until it has been authenticated. A stamp like 294a, the census of which is pretty much known, will not be found stuck behind a bunch of other stamps at the back of a stock book.

Before someone jumps on me for saying "never". All right. I'll concede. You won't find it in 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of these types of lots.

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Bobstamp

06 Mar 2012
04:39:21pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Ah, but there is that 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% chance! Vive la chance! Who among us hasn't had our heart skip a beat when we think we've found a treasure? Each time, it's a sort of philatelic defibrillator. That's why most of us are still alive!

Bob

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Les

06 Mar 2012
05:49:01pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

Liz- It isn't part of the centennial sheet. If you will look closely at the sheet, you will see that each stamp on 3505 has a copyright date 2001 in the lower corner.

Michael is partially correct. There were two stamps mutilated. The center was cut out from one stamp turned upside down and glued onto another 294. My nephew who is not a stamp collector thought that it was too thick.

My clue that it was a forgery was that the cancellation lines are not parallel. I suspected that it was a fake because I had talked with another collector in town who had found a similar forgery. I have donated it to the APS fakes and forgeries reference collection. It was fun


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musicman

APS #213005
06 Mar 2012
08:32:13pm

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

The cancellation lines definitely give it away.....

....fun story, Les!





Randy

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PDougherty999

15 Mar 2012
11:19:59am

re: auction selling advice and a glimpse at a doctored US. 294

I'm going to throw in some advice from one newbie to the other newbies out there. My last two batches have been very successful in my books on recuperating money I've spent on the collection. Mind you, I have not made much, but that was not my intension. I was aiming on breaking even with my “extra” stuff. In fact, a common theme in the discussion forums is that if you are looking at striking it rich in this hobby, then you are in for a very big surprise. Also, I’m going to point out that I’ve only been dealing with United States stuff for now.

Based on my buying experiences and then trying similar things in selling, I would recommend the following:

First and foremost, and I can’t emphasize this enough. Be descriptive in the description. ALWAYS include the country, the Scott number and a quick little 3 to 4 word description, if you can. Also, make sure you categorize the lot properly. If you don’t check off that your stamps are from the United States, then I for one will never see them as I mostly do my browsing under the U.S. category. And make sure you list the condition as well. And have a good clear scans. There are other posts about the best resolutions and what not so I won’t get into that here. If you do have a question, feel free to message me about what I do for mine.

Second, set your auction to 14 days and then wait, wait and wait. AND BE PATIENT!!! Typically, you will see the action pick up near the last 2 to 3 days. The reason for setting such a long date is you are "fishing" for bites. The longer you leave the bait in the water, the better chance of getting a bite. In fact, after you post, don't come back and look at your lots for at least 7 days. Take it from me, you will go crazy wondering what is going on.

Next, look at what the larger sellers are doing for prices. I’m finding that for the common unused stamp, set your start price at face value. If that face value is under 10 cents, then you can probably get away with setting the starting bid at 10 cents. For example, I had a block of 4 US # 803 that I set at 40 cents. I’ve also been lucky in that I’ve been sitting on some Forever stamps from last year, so now that face value is at $0.45 instead, so every time I sell one at that price, I’ve made a penny. If these unused stamps generate any interest, you’ll see people start bidding on them. If you don’t get any bites, those stamps are still valuable to you as postage. As for used stamps, I’ve seen the common ones being listed at $0.03 to $0.05 per stamp. I’ve been using the 5 cent rule to some success. If you think you have something that might be of more value than these guidelines, you can always ask the larger sellers what they think they would list it as. I know that our larger sellers do not look at this site as being a competitive selling location, and I know of at least 3 people I buy from that would not hesitate to give me an answer if I asked for their opinion.

Fourth, it seems that people love to bid on sets of stamps. Go through your extras and group the stamps together. Newbies like me are always looking to fill in sections of their album so sets of stamps are always appreciated and tend to start bidding wars.

And, the collectors here also seem to be looking for blocks of stamps too, so DON’T break up your blocks. I was surprised that I got bids on a normal block of Scott 803 and 804. But one man’s extras is another man’s treasure.

And lastly, if a lot doesn’t sell, reexamine it, to make sure there is nothing weird about it. If it still checks out OK, relist it at least 2 more times. Collectors and bidders around here do sometimes go on vacation, or maybe miss your lots the first time around. Like fishing, it sometimes takes 2 or 3 cats to get that bite you were looking for.

Hopefully, that helps some of the new people out.

---Pat

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